Rio 2016: Ennis-Hill misses out on gold by two seconds

Jessica Ennis-Hill fell just short of defending her Olympic title.

Rio 2016: Ennis-Hill misses out on gold by two seconds
Ennis-Hill celebrates a second Olympic medal (photo: Getty Images)

It was heartbreak for Team GB favourite Jessica Ennis-Hill as she gave herself too much to do in the final event of the heptathlon, falling two seconds short of overturning Belgium's Nafi Thiam.

Too much left to do for the champion

Thiam has raised her game in almost every discipline of the seven in the last two days and did so again in the javelin, leaving her with a 9.47 second advantage over Ennis-Hill going into the 800m.

30 year old Ennis-Hill burst off the starting line to take the lead from the outset and gradually began to extend her advantage. Thiam, a fantastic jumper, will be the first to admit that she does not excel in the running events but the enticement of Olympic gold allowed her to dig deep and find extra reserves of energy. Ennis-Hill predictably won the final heat of the 800m but 21 year old Thiam secured overall victory with a fifth personal best of the week, finishing in 2.16.54 as the 50-1 outsider stunned the world.

Johnson-Thompson misses out on a medal

There was further heartbreak for Team GB as Katarina Johnson-Thompson missed out on a medal altogether, eventually finishing in a disappointing sixth. The young heir to the Ennis-Hill throne left herself too much to do in the 800m after disastrous performances in the shot putt and javelin events. Despite finishing sixth overall in the final event, Canada's Brianne Thiesen-Eaton secured bronze with a 0.97 victory over her rival. 

As for Ennis-Hill it could be the end of the road for her career. After narrowly missing out on gold, she explained "I have had an amazing few years and achieved so much in the sport. I am really proud". Though the evening belonged to Nafi Thiam who has come from nowhere to cement herself as the best heptathlete in the world.